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Who we are

The CSMI is one of three centres integral to the Wits Mining Institute, under the Directorship of Prof Fred Cawood. The mission of the Wits Mining Institute is to promote innovation and sustainability in the extractive sectors through skills and technology.

Core staff  

Nancy Coulson’s background is in biochemistry and public health. She is a specialist in health promotion, community development, capacity development, communication, and education and training. She has wide experience of public health issues including HIV, environmental health and occupational health and safety. Nancy has worked in the public and NGO sectors, including in roles such as national manager for the National Department of Health’s Khomanani HIV and AIDS social mobilisation campaign. She is the author of several books.

Working with the centre since 2007, Nancy has been involved in a range of research and education activities for the mining sector. She is our programme manager health and safety. Her focus is on the relationship between business and communities and tripartism in health and safety practice. Nancy has a BSc Honours in Biochemistry and a MEd in Primary Health Care from the University of Manchester. She is completing a PhD through the School of Public Health at Wits University.


Pontsho Ledwaba is a Research Engineer with a Master’s degree in Mining Engineering from Wits. She has 5 years’ experience in research and development in the small scale mining sector, with a particular focus on mineral development, mineral beneficiation and skills development and training. This work contributes to the socioeconomic development of society, particularly rural and disadvantaged communities. She joined the CSMI early in 2016, from Mintek, and leads the Centre’s work on artisanal and small scale mining. She is currently completing her PhD.




Lileen Lee joined the CSMI in January 2014 as a temporary short course administrator, she joint the staff permanently in July 2014 as Administrator Officer, and is currently Senior Short Course Administrator. In this role Lileen supports the Director and Program Managers with the administration of all courses and events that the CSMI run. Prior to joining the CSMI, Lileen gained extensive experience in the petroleum industry as a Logistics Manager and Supply Chain Practitioner and has also worked at TOTAL SA, ENGEN and PHILLIPS. She is a certified member of the South African Production and Inventory Council and has a Logistics Diploma. 



Ingrid Watson leads the centre’s work on environment, biodiversity, mine closure and land use. Before joining the CSMI in 2009, she had a successful career progression working on land reform in government, and then for mining company De Beers; first in their global environmental practice, and then as assurance manager for environment and community. In her position at the centre as programme manager: environment, Ingrid teaches in the Masters programme and supervises a number of MSc students in the faculties of Science and Engineering.

Ingrid’s research focus is on socio-ecological systems, with a particular focus on land use and livelihoods post mine closure. Her doctoral research seeks to establish what lessons can be learnt from the development of the Free State goldfields between 1940 and 2014 that would enable improved development of other resource regions. Ingrid holds a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Environmental Science, an MSc in Environment and Society, and an MPhil in Sustainable Development Planning and Management.